Description of team: Specialty leads consist of two intraoperative RNs who volunteered for the role and collaborated with the nurse manager, surgeons/providers, and supply chain personnel. In each specialty team, one RN was considered the primary lead.
Preparation and planning: The intraoperative RNs who volunteered were then assigned the primary or secondary role as a point lead for their desired specialty. Leads were distinguished to cover numerous surgical specialties.
Assessment: The operating room (OR) has one of the highest risks of medical errors due to the high degree of coordination, technical equipment, complex and vulnerable populations of patients, and a hazardous environment (Teunissen et. al., 2019). This atmosphere offers a unique opportunity to explore concepts of teams and teamwork. This past year, the management team at AHSC identified the need to distinguish staff leads for each specialty to improve communication, teamwork, and staff preparedness and ensure proper supplies and equipment are ready for day of surgery. We anticipated that with specialty teams, team member satisfaction would improve and that staff engagement would improve while continuing to maintain safe patient care.
Implementation: All intraoperative staff were informed of the staff RNs who would be the specialty leads for each specialty. A specialty role was added to the daily staffing schedule in order to allot time for staff to complete their tasks.
Outcome: Improved staff engagement by 7%, as evidenced by Glint Survey reviews, a survey platform that allows organizations to solicit input, hear staff concerns, and translate feedback in a timely, effective manner, resulted. Additionally, OR staff were surveyed via a questionnaire; 20/28 completed the survey. Examples of reported findings that occurred through the empowerment of the RN specialty leads, were as follows: Improvement of efficiency and completion of pulling equipment, instruments, and supplies. Improved communication throughout all phases of care, preop, intraop and post-op. Implications in perioperative nursing: Specialty teams can be used to focus on team consistency, an ever-important key to operating room communication and patient safety (“How to,” 2019). Specialty team leads’ collaboration throughout perioperative services decreases wasted time and materials, yielding a more efficient OR with more engaged staff.
1) How to build surgeon-specific teams (2019). Retrieved from https://www.aorn.org/about-aorn/aorn-newsroom/periop-today-newsletter/2019/2019-articles/surgeon-specific-teams https://www.aorn.org/about-aorn/aorn-newsroom/periop-today-newsletter/2019/2019-articles/surgeon-specific-teams
2) Teunissen, C., Burrell, B., Maskill, V. (2019). Effective surgical teams: An integrative literature review. SAGE Journals, 42, 1. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193945919834896